ATEC Elects New Leadership, Welcomes New Directors to the Board

During its annual board meeting, ATEC directors elected WSU Tech Aviation Program Dean James Hall as new council president. Jim was originally elected to the board in 2017 and has served on the executive committee as treasurer and vice president. In addition to his contributions to ATEC, Jim was appointed as a member of the Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force, a group that recently published recommendations to the FAA Administrator. Jim will serve a two-year term as president.
Southern Illinois University's Karen Johnson, who served as treasurer the last two years, was elected as vice president. Karen is also editor of the ATEC Journal and previous chair of the communications committee. Southern Utah University's Jared Britt will serve as treasurer. Jared is chair of the legislative committee and was a leader in the council’s efforts to advocate for part 147 regulatory reform on Capitol Hill.
Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics Director of Campus Operations Gary Hoyle will transition to immediate past president and continue as a member of the executive committee, having served the last four years as president. After more than 50 years in the aviation industry, Gary is planning a much-deserved retirement this summer. The Board still expects to see him at council events early and often.
The Board is proud to welcome several new directors, each of which will serve a four-year term:

  • Greg Emerson, VP of Base Maintenance, American Airlines. Greg oversees American's global base maintenance operation. He began his aviation career as a technician in the U.S. Navy and then spent 17 years with Delta Air Lines. He earned a Bachelor of Science in professional aeronautics and aviation safety and management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington.


  • Suzanne Markle, President and CEO, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. Suzanne oversees the strategic direction and operation of all PIA locations and programs and has been with the organization in various capacities since 1999. She was appointed by the DOT to serve on its Women in Aviation Advisory Board and is a member of the nomination committee for the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Suzanne holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Seton Hill University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from California University of PA, and a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.


  • Sheryl Oxley, Aviation Program Coordinator, Tulsa Tech. Sheryl joined Tulsa Tech in 2004 as an instructor and has taught A&P curriculum for both high school and adult learners. Prior to joining Tulsa Tech, Sheryl served 27 years in the Air Force and worked with Delta Airlines, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, and Bombardier Aerospace. She regularly volunteers for EAA AirVenture and KidVenture and serves as a PAMA Olympic and MRO AMC coach. She has been a Designated Mechanic Examiner since 2008. Sheryl has a Bachelor of Science in Career and Technical Education from Oklahoma State University.


  • Jim Smith, Director of Aviation Maintenance Technology, Marshall University. Jim led the development of Marshall's new part 147 program, writing the curriculum and overseeing certification, construction, staffing, and grant development. He is the former director of RCBI aerospace at the Robert C Byrd Institute, part of the Marshall University Research Corporation, and previously served as the deputy director of Huntington Tristate Airport, and airport operations specialist at Lexington Bluegrass airport. Jim holds a Bachelor’s in aviation business management from Utah Valley University and is currently pursuing his Master's in aviation safety at the University of Central Missouri.


  • Scott Sykes, Chief Development Officer, U.S. Aviation Academy. Scott was instrumental in standing up U.S. Aviation Academy's part 147 program, which obtained FAA certification in 2021. He obtained his private pilot license at US Aviation Academy and started the airframe and powerplant program in January 2021. Scott graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor's degree in economics and a Master's in economics from the University of North Texas.

During its annual meeting the board also recognized exiting and long-time director Ryan Goertzen. Ryan has served on the ATEC board for a decade, including four years as president. Under his leadership, the trade association's operating budget increase 400 percent and its membership more than doubled. He was steadfast in the pursuit to reform 14 CFR part 147, leading congressional advocacy efforts culminating in what ultimately passed Congress as a direct rule. As recognition of his work, fellow directors presented Ryan with a red line copy of the law that directed the FAA to remove and replace part 147 with ATEC-crafted language.
While Ryan's term on the ATEC board has ended, he continues on as a founding director and president of ATEC's sister organization, Choose Aerospace. In that role he leads pursuit of an aggressive goal to enroll 10,000 students in the Choose Aerospace aviation maintenance curriculum by 2027. The aviation technician education community is indebted to Ryan for his service and continued dedication to this community.
See the entire directory of ATEC's elected, volunteer leaders.
Learn more about the Choose Aerospace aviation maintenance curriculum for high school programs at